Introduction. Signs of child abuse and neglect are often found in the orofacial region and, therefore, it is very important for dental students, as future dentists, to recognize and report them.
The aim of the study was to investigate the knowledge and attitudes towards child abuse and neglect among dental students.
Material and Methods. The study was performed at the Faculty of Dental Medicine, Saints Cyril and Methodius University, among all dental students of the six-year undergraduate dental programme. The data were collected between January and February 2022 using a Google Form and shared via available social media platforms. The definition of physical indicators of abuse, awareness regarding legal and ethical issues, students’ experience of child abuse recognition were evaluated by a questionnaire.
Results. The questionnaire completion rate was 70%. As many as 20.86% of dental students very rarely received training on recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect; 79.75% of dental students had never received any information about child abuse during their university education; about 91.41% of students wanted to receive more knowledge about child abuse and neglect. No differences were observed in terms of gender and year of study.
Conclusions. Dental students in North Macedonia are not sufficiently prepared for their role in diagnosing suspected cases of child abuse. An educational program about diagnosing, reporting, and preventing child abuse and neglect should be involved in the curriculum of undergraduate students from North Macedonia.
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